Church Buildings Officer

This job has now expired
Up to £30,000 per annum depending on experience, qualifications and hours.

This is an exciting opportunity to join the Church Buildings team supporting the long-term sustainable future of churches across Devon and helping parishes to care for their heritage assets and to manage change.

To be successful in this role you will have a developed interest and enthusiasm for building conservation, churches and their history. You will be able to take sound decisions on complex and potentially contentious issues and work under pressure to prioritise and meet deadlines. While based in Exeter, there is the option of part home working, and you will also travel regularly to churches across the diocese.

The Church Buildings Officer will work with the Senior Church Buildings Adviser on delivering a diverse range of tasks including:

  • processing and assisting with Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) and Church Building Strategy Committee (CBSC) casework;
  • supporting parishes and issuing feedback and decisions on applications;
  • arranging and attending church site visits;
  • providing and presenting information, training, and guidance for parishes in managing their church buildings;
  • administering electronic records and databases;
  • seeking alternative uses for closed churches;
  • preparing agendas, recommendations, and collations of papers for DAC and CBSC meetings.

The post will involve travel to churches across the diocese and a full UK driving licence is essential. Extensive travel will be involved due to the geographical location of parishes.

The Church Buildings Officer role requires a high degree of proficiency across the domains of:

  • regulatory compliance and historic building works
  • Mission Community and Parish relationship building
  • committee work
  • information and data management
  • multi agency team working

A Basic disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service is required in connection with this role.

The job reports to the Senior Adviser – Church Buildings & DAC Secretary (SCBA) and will work closely with:

  • Director of Property
  • Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Secretary
  • Archdeacons of Barnstaple, Exeter, Plymouth and Totnes
  • Parish / Mission Community representatives and their professional advisers
  • Chair, members and consultants of the Diocesan Advisory Committee
  • Growing the Rural Church Officers and Mission Resources Advisers
  • Diocesan Registrar and Chancellor
  • Church Buildings Council
  • Statutory and local amenity societies, Historic England and Local Authorities

The main duties and responsibilities for the Church Buildings Officer include;

  • Support the Senior Adviser in working with Mission Communities to assist them with understanding their church building and site and to advise them of the issues and processes relating to the planning of maintenance, repairs, alterations and developments to church buildings and church sites.
  • Manage a caseload of applications for List B or faculty approval via the Online Faculty System, and undertake all associated administration
  • Under the direction of the Senior Adviser, review minor faculty and List B applications, consult DAC advisers as necessary, and issue recommendations to DAC committee and Archdeacons.
  • Contribute to the development and maintenance of the Church Buildings section of the website providing the guidance noted above and identifying good practice and detailing case studies of extended uses of church buildings.
  • Arrange and participate in site visits to churches including consultations; produce written reports of such visits.
  • Schedule Church Building Strategy Committee (CBSC) meeting dates, oversee the preparation of detailed agendas, supporting papers and minutes and take a proactive role in casework, particularly in relation to the finding of alternative uses for closed churches. Work collaboratively with all diocesan officers and in particular those in the Property Department, Mission and Pastoral Department and Ministry Resources for the fulfilment of the Diocesan Vision and Strategy.
  • Ensure Safeguarding training and awareness completed to required level C0/C1.

The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate that they hold the following specifications:

  • Graduate or equivalent in architecture, history, planning, surveying, heritage or conservation related subject.
  • Experience of, and knowledge and interest in building conservation, churches and their history.
  • One year’s post-qualification experience in a similar role.
  • Able to take sound decisions on complex and potentially contentious issues, with an eye for detail
  • Able to adopt a proactive approach to discovering solutions to less straightforward matters.
  • Sensitive to the different cultures, traditions and activities within the Church and maintain a consistent approach to clergy and non-clergy matters.
  • Flexible and adaptable whilst working in a team; capable of providing cover for others.
  • A full driving licence and use of a car for work related travel across Devon.
  • Available for very occasional evening and weekend working.

The Diocese of Exeter matches almost exactly the boundaries of the county of Devon, including Torbay and Plymouth. We are a family of Christians, worshipping God in many different settings and groups. We are led by the Bishop of Exeter and governed by Diocesan Synod which is made up of representatives from across the Diocese.

The central office is the Old Deanery, Exeter, where there is a team of around 50 Diocesan staff whose work is arranged to focus on a number of the goals of the Diocesan vision and strategy, ‘Grow in Prayer, Make new Disciples and Serve the People of Devon with Joy’. These staff work in the following teams: Education, Mission & Ministry, Church & Society, Communications, Property & Church Buildings, Finance, Safeguarding, Vocations, Synod Office, Archdeacons Secretaries, Counselling & Pastoral Care Service and the Growing the Rural Church Project.

The role will be full-time or 0.8FTE. We will consider applicants who already have a historic building qualification or applicants wanting to pursue an externally provided heritage conservation course, for which support would be provided.

To arrange an informal discussion about this role please contact us by email by phone: 01392 294959 or by post:
The Old Deanery
The Cloisters

Please Note:

  • Closing date for applications Sunday 16 April 2023
  • Shortlisted candidates notified Wednesday 19 April 2023
  • Interviews to be held: Friday 28 April 2023

If you would like to find out more about the Diocese of Exeter please visit our website:

For more information on the DBS Code of Practice please visit the website: